Joseph H. Boardman (December 23, 1948 – March 7, 2019) served as President and CEO of Amtrak from 2008 to 2016.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, said:
It is with great sadness that I share the news that Joe Boardman passed away on 7 March.
I had the pleasure to meet him on different occasions, as a member of the Mineta Transport Institute, and through Amtrak as a member of UIC.
He actively participated in our High Speed Congress in Philadelphia in 2010.
During his career Joe led the New York Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration, and Amtrak with distinction.
He dedicated his life to improving mobility and we will all forever be grateful for his contribution to our railway community.
Boardman was raised in Oneida County, New York, and was the second of eight children. He joined the United States Air Force in 1966, which included a tour of Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Following his military career, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a Master of Science in Management Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
His early career includes city, county and state government roles including management of the Rome and Utica transit authorities in the early 1980s. Boardman also served as commissioner of public transportation in Broome County, N.Y., before establishing his own transportation management company.
He was named commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) beginning July 1997 where he led a transformation effort that better enabled the agency to respond to the challenges associated with an expanding global marketplace. In this capacity, Boardman was deeply involved in the operation of the large complement of Amtrak service in the state. He left NYSDOT following his appointment by President George W. Bush as FRA Administrator. Boardman was the longest-serving Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) from July 1997 until resigning to head the FRA.
Amtrak first selected Boardman for a one-year stint as president and CEO in November 2008. He held the role until September 2016, the second-longest tenure of any Amtrak president. Boardman became the second-longest serving head of Amtrak, after W. Graham Claytor, Jr. in the 1980s.
Railway Age magazine named Boardman as its 51st “Railroader of the Year” in its January 9, 2014, issue.